Chris Blattman

The revolution will not be touristed

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Is this what we can expect from Tina Brown? What drove Newsweek’s editors to commission and publish a feature–in the latest issue–on “Five Places to See Before the Revolution.” In breathless prose, reporters Dan Ephron and Claire Martin list five countries–Morocco, Jordan, Gabon, Ecuador and Nepal–that modern seize-the-day Hemingways should get to soon, before agitation for the Rights of Man disrupt their travel plans. Popular uprisings are basically treated as nuisances in the piece, not only because they reveal the oppressive structures behind the tourist-poster versions of favoured nations, but because they cause trip-cancellations.

That is Neelika Jayawardane on a Newsweek story in bad taste.

On the other hand, they do feature Wole Soyinka on Lagos.

One Response

  1. I agree, Chris, totally bizarre. Glib, inaccurate glosses of the complex political milieux of 5 random countries, all in the context of vacations?
    If I had to say something positive, I’m nearly pleased that a major American media outfit has finally acknowledged that Gabon is experiencing popular disgruntlement, but then the slide on Gabon says something like, Phew! At least the Bongo family’s kleptocracy doesn’t include poaching wildlife! Aside from how absurd such a sentiment is, from what I know, Gabon’s natural areas are subject to thoughtless deforestation and poaching. Thanks for pointing out the article. Disappointing.

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